By Colleen Walsh, M.S., CCC-SLP
Speech Language Pathologist
“Derek” loves to socialize with everyone he encounters; however, he can only say a handful of sounds. He once excitedly greeted others by blowing kisses or running up to them and patting their arms, backs, or chests. We worked on teaching him to wave to say “hello,” but also decided to try to teach him to say “Hi!”
Derek loved to laugh along with others saying, “HA! HA! HA!” We trained staff to greet Derek with a laugh, and he learned how fun it was to share laughs with others, rather than touching them. Gradually, we changed this to returning or initiating a greeting by saying “HA!” and waving, something that everyone can understand and appreciate.